Skip to main content
Edit entry 

8th Air Force 287

1 April 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The industrial areas of Ludwigshafen was the traget for this mission, but the mission was frustrated by heavy cloud cover and navigational errors that resulted in the mission going haywire. 3rd Air Division and 2nd Air Division despatch heavy bombers. Mission Summary follows:

3rd Air Division: A combined forc of 245 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are despatched. The force runs into heavy cloud cover over France and the entire formation aborts the mission. 7 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 195 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 453BG are despatched with the industrial areas of Ludwigshafen as the target. Cloud cover, PFF failures and navigational errors plague this formation and it flies a course nearly 100 miles south of the intended track. As a result 17 B-24s bomb Strasbourg, France and 38 others bomb Shaffenhausen, Switzerland in error. 101 managed to bomb the industrial areas of Pforzheim, Germany as a Target of Opportunity (TO) and 9 others bomb the industrial areas of Gaffenhausen, Germany as a TO. The bombing errors at Shaffenhausen, Switzerland are a serious breach of Swiss neutrality and the United Staes goverment pays the Swiss government $1,000,000 in an apology. 6 aircraft of the formations attacking at Pforzheim Failed to Return (FTR) - 23KIA 27POW 11EVD; 6 aircraft of the formations that bombed Strasbourg, France Failed to Return (FTR) - 21KIA 22POW 12EVD 8RTD (rescued by ASR). 2 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), 1 in a crash landing upon return - 6KIA 4RTD and 1 ran out of petrol and was abandoned over England - 10BO/RTD. 42 aircraft are damaged. 9 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and another 12 are WIA. The bomber gunners claim 1-1-0 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission details

1. GRAFENHAUSEN (Opportunistic)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary) (RC)

Description

CHEMICAL PLANTS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

245 B-17s dispatched as the lead force abandon the mission over the French coast due to heavy cloud cover. 3rd Bomb Division was made up of 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00

3. PFORZHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 260T HE 255T IB

4. SCHAFFENHAUSEN (Opportunistic)

Description

ERROR - SWITZERLAND IS NEUTRAL

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

These two towns were mistaken for German towns. US later paid the Swiss $1Million as a formal apology.

Mission Statistics

5. STRASBOURG (Opportunistic)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Effective 17
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

Service

People

  • Steve Andrychuk

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Top turret gunner/ flight engineer | 452nd Bomb Group

  • James Braa

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball turret gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    James Braa served as a ball turret gunner with the 566th Bomb Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Hethel, England. He completed his tour of 30 missions between March and June 1944, flying his final two missions on D-Day.

  • Arthur Gibbons

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group

  • Lloyd Smith

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot/co-pilot | 453rd Bomb Group

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2016 17:27:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Mar-2016. Added statistics and bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Strasbourg element based on "the Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2016 17:24:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Mar-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "the Mighty Eighth Air Force", Roger A. Freeman, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE and MACRS.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:12 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

Share